Thursday (7 February) is Independence Day for the Carribean Island of Grenada, but the path to self-government has become increasingly rough in recent weeks, as violent demonstrations, resulting in at least one death, have left the British colony in complete disorder.
SV EXT Pull back police officer at gate way
SV Group of people outside Mr. Gairyls residence
CU INT Mr. Gairy seated
REPORTER: "Well Sir, what about the accusation that secret police, plain-clothed policemen re going round beating up people?"
MR. GAIRY: "Well there is absolutely no truth in this. The people who call themselves "The New Jewel Movement", I think that they are connected with some outside subversive agency, and they decided to try and take over government by armed force and if any group of people attempted, in any country, to gain power by armed forces they would have to be met with the most stringent opposition."
REPORTERS: "You have no whites on the Island and the shops are closed, telephones are down and services are limited, and yet there will be people from all over the world here, what do you plan to do?"
MR. GAIRY: "Well, all the functions are limited to daylight periods and the security measures here are well up to the mark, I would say, and people coming here are quite safe. The demonstrations started with thousands. You know they started they had three thousand, five thousand. They actually inched up to six or seven thousand. It boiled right down to two hundred."
Initials SC/2209 SC/022
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Background: Thursday (7 February) is Independence Day for the Carribean Island of Grenada, but the path to self-government has become increasingly rough in recent weeks, as violent demonstrations, resulting in at least one death, have left the British colony in complete disorder. Opposition to Eric Gairy who becomes the island's first independent Premier on Thursday, has led to strikes that have crippled industry and the economically-vital tourist trade.
Mr. Gairy rarely goes to his office in the centre of St. George's, preferring to remain in his secure hill-top residence. On Tuesday, he spoke to Bill Boyd of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.